Game Day USA 8-25-18

Labor Day and the business end of the 2018 USAFL season is within sight.  And with four weekends of football remaining, teams are ramping up their preparations for Nationals in Racine.

A half dozen carnivals fill the air with action today, from coast to coast and all points in between.  From New England to Cascadia, from the Buckeye State to the Peachtree State, and from Texas to LA, it will be a cornucopia of Aussie Rules across this country.  It is Game Day, USA.

Here is what is on tap for Round 16 of the USAFL season.  Stay tuned for the August edition of the USAFL Top 20 Poll later this week.

Stumptown Throwdown – Portland, Oregon / Facebook Event and Schedule
Men: #8 Portland Steelheads (5-0), #14 Sacramento Suns (1-5), #13 Minnesota Freeze (6-1), #12 Seattle Grizzlies (0-4)
Women: Portland Sockeyes (4-1), Seattle Grizzlies (0-4), Minnesota Freeze (2-0)

In what’s become an annual tradition in the Pacific Northwest, the Portland AFC hosts one of the biggest footballing events on the calendar.  On the Men’s side, the undefeated Western D2 champion Steelheads welcome in three hungry football teams, including winless rivals Seattle, Midwest challengers Minnesota, and a game Suns side.  The Grizzlies are looking to avenge their loss to Portland at Westerns and pick up their first wins of the season in the process, but the Suns and Freeze will have other ideas.

On the women’s side, the Sockeyes, fresh off their own Western Regional championship, get another crack at the Grizzlies ladies after they beat them handily in July.  The Grizz will be bolstered by a number of Freedom hopefuls, and will like to strike back on their own after Portland felled them by 20 points at Westerns.  The Freeze, meanwhile, will play their toughest competition of the year so far after wins earlier against a Midwest combo and the Columbus Cats.

EAFL Round 6 – Boston, Massachusetts / Facebook Event and Schedule
Men: #19 Boston Demons (5-3), Baltimore Dockers (4-9), North Carolina Tigers (2-5)
Women: Boston/Philadelphia v Baltimore-Washington Lady Eagles

With two rounds left in the EAFL season, both Boston and North Carolina need to sweep both games on Saturday to keep themselves alive for the EAFL Premiership.  Baltimore will try to play the role of spoiler, having already been eliminated from title contention.  A split will be good news to current ladder-leaders Columbus (16 points) whose schedule is complete, and second place New York (12 points) who host DC and Boston in the final round of EAFL play on September 8.

The Boston Lady Demons, meanwhile, will pair up with the Philadelphia Hawks women to face the Baltimore-Washington Lady Eagles.  The Lady Eagles are coming off of a two goal victory in Philly a couple of weeks ago, and would love to pick off another victim on the road ahead of Nationals.

Texas Cup Round 2 – Houston, Texas / Facebook Event and Schedule
Men: #2 Austin Crows (4-0), #4 Dallas Magpies (4-4), #11 Houston Lonestars (5-3)
Women: Houston Lonestars v Dallas Magpies

The Austin Crows look to extend their winning record on the road in Houston, where they currently are at 2-0 in Texas Cup play after sweeping in Dallas.  The Lonestars, who edged out Dallas at Centrals to advance to the regional D1 final, are looking for their first intrastate victory of the year, and look to do so at home against two mountainous bits of competition.

Playing together as the Texas Heat, the women from Houston and Dallas will face off on Saturday afternoon as they prepare for another run at Nationals.  A youth clinic will be scheduled for after the game.

SoCal Cup Round 2 – Los Angeles, California
Men: #3 Los Angeles Dragons (5-2), #7 Orange County Bombers (6-4), #15 San Diego Lions (7-3)

Homestanding Los Angeles comes off a sweep against Dallas and Denver two weekends ago, and a second place finish at the Western Regionals two weekends before even that.  They went 1-1 in the first leg of the SoCal Cup, with San Diego going 2-0 and Orange County looking for their first win before hosting the third and final leg on September 22nd.

Midwest Showdown – Columbus, Ohio / Facebook Event and Schedule
Men: #18 Columbus Cats (4-3) v Nashville Kangaroos (2-5)/#16 Chicago Swans (8-4)
Women: Columbus Cats (0-4) v Midwest All-Stars [Chicago/Nashville/Motor City]

The D2 Eastern Men’s Regional Champs take on two old Midwestern rivals, as the Kangas and Bloods come to town.  Columbus is coming off a loss to the Swans in Chicago, and now try to settle the score at home.

For the Cats women, they are still in search of their first victory of 2018 and will try to find it against a combined side made up of players from Chicago, Nashville, and the brand new Motor City Muscle.  Both the Swans and Kangas ladies performed strongly as part of the All-Stars team at Central regionals, including a tight game against the Texas Heat.

Atlanta vs Rome/Jacksonville – Decatur, Georgia / 2:30pm EDT, NH Scott Park
Men: Atlanta Kookaburras (0-3) v Rome Redbacks/Jacksonville Saints

 It’s a historic day for Aussie Rules in the Southeast as the USAFL’s two newest clubs, the Rome Redbacks and Jacksonville Saints, combine to play the Atlanta Kookaburras.  The Kookas provided stout opposition at the Central Regionals last month, and will try to show the new teams a thing or two.  The game will be preceded at 1:30 by an AFL Social match.

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